Culture and Traditions

The Importance of Hausa Native Names in Hausa Culture

Africans boost of rich native names which they accord with much of importance. It is one of the norms they can be identified with today; after assorted their tribal marks, skin colours, clothings, languages and so on. Every tribe you can mention in this part of the world have her unique and rich cultures and traditions, and so applies the native names. Hausas the culturally diverse ethnic groups indeginous to Niger Republic, Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroun, Ghana etc have their unique native names that are as old as the Hausa civilisation itself, in relation to their cultures and way of life. All though there have been a time some misinformed personalities think that Hausas do not have native names or that they have purposefully misplaced them with Arabics, which is not true.

Hausas have various kinds of native names which you would be amazed if you found-out their meanings, their orgins or beliefs attached to some of them. They have various classes of names as follows:

Hausa Names with Prefixes “Dan”, “Ta”, “Na”, “Mai” and “Yat or Yar”
Hausa people add prefixes to their names to proclaim a persons relationship with his or her grandparents- father, mother, uncles and aunts. In some cases few denotes a persons physical appearances, wife of someone and husband of someone.

“Dan” means son of or little one: Example Dangote, Dantata, DanZubair, Dankarami

“Na” born of. when a person or child(normally male) was adopted or raised by their grandparents or family members, people can come-about to call them by their foster parents names with this prefix “Na.” This can take husband of when attached with female names: Example
Nadada, Nasale, Nakulu, Nainno,

“Ta” daughter of, born of. This have same meaning with the above prefix “Na”, only that this takes female gender and it can also mean someones wife when female name was attached to it at the end. Example Tahawwa, Tasala, Tanoma, Taroro, Tahantsi

“Mai” this prefix mostly denotes position and occupation of a person. It can mean born of periods or seasons: Example Maigari, Maikasuwa, Maidala, Maikano, Maigobir, Maikudi, Maihwari

“Yat” or “Yar” daughter of or little one. This is similar to “Dan”, only that this takes female gender.
Yatshohi, Yatkadi, Yatkuli, Yarkayi, Yarladi, Yarmalam, Yarzagi

Hausa Prophets Names and their Companions:
Hausas name their children names of Prophets contained in the holy scriptures God directed to humans for guidance; Torah, Bible and Qur’an. Hausa pleople are descendants of prophets as narrated by reputable historians and history also had it that there have been prophets and companions in them. They give their children these names with faith to emulate good virtues of these servants of God. They the have habits of abbriviating some of the names as follows:

Adamu (Name of Prophet of God): Ada, Ado, Ade, Adiya.

Ibrahim (Name of Prophet of God): Iro, Ibro, Iroro, Ibra.

Idirisa (Name of Prophet of God): Idi, Idiya, Ide.

Muhammadu (Name of Prophet of God): Hamma, Aman, Ammani, Mammado.

Usman (Name of Prophet Companion): Mani.Mane

Jibrila (Name of an Angel of God): Jibo

Umaru (Name of Prophet Muhammed’s companion): U’ma, Umar

Balkisu (Name of Prophet Sulaiman Wife): Balki, Balkiki

Haruna (Name of Prophet of God): Haro, Haru

Yunusa (Name of Prophet of God): Yanu, Anu

Abubakar (Name of Prophet Muhammed’s Companion): Abu, Bukari, Garba.

Isiyaka (Name of Prophet of God): Isiya, Isakalo

Yakubu (Name of Prophet of God): Yaku

Yusufa (Name of Prophet of God): Isu

Sulaimanu (Name of Prophet of God): Sule

Zainabu (Name of Prophets Wife): Zainu, A’bu

Fadimatu, Fatimatu (Name of Prophet Muhammed’s Daughter): Tima, Chima, Fati

A’isha (Name of Prophet Muhammed’s Wife): A’i, Indo

Salihu (Name of Prophet of God): Sale, Sala

Zakariya’u (Name of Prophet of God): Zakari, Yau, Zakariya

Sha’aibu (Name of Prophet of God): Sha’i, Shaibo, I’bo

Khadijatu (Name of Prophet Muhammed’s Wife): Dije, Hadiza, Dijangala

Yahayya (Name of Prophet of God): Hayya

Bilyaminu (Name of Prophet of God): Bilya

Mika’ilu (Name of an Angel of God): Mikko. And rest of others.

Hausa Days Names: “Lahadi”, “Attanin” , “Talata” , “Laraba” , “Alhamis” , “Juma’a” , “Assabar” These are the names of days in Hausa language and are similar to Arabics as they are believed to be Ancient Arabian civilisations they dwelled in present Middle east. Hausa people have the habits of naming their children names of the days as follows:

Tanin, Danjuma, Juma.
Danassabe, Danladi, Lado Ladi, Assabe, Ladidi, Ladiya, Dantanin, Dantala, Dantata, Maitala, Bala, Balarabe, Larai, Lariya, Balaraba, Laraba, Tabawa, Danlami, Lami

After the aforementions natives there are nicknames which friends, age mates, Baya ga wadancan akwai sunayen lakabi da abokai ko wari ko tabbashinnai ko kakanni ke lakabama mutum irinsu:
Zaki, Gago, Gajala, Kwallo, Gagare

Names of occupations: Hausa people have names of occupations that are related to their traditional occupations: Kasu, Kassuwa, Maradi, Makera, Danmakera, Falke ko Hwalke, Maikassuwa, Maidawa, Dandawa, Maibarewa, Dankura, Zaki

Names of seasons and periods of the years:
When a child or peason was born in a memorable seasons of the years one can bear such names for remembrance.
Maifari ko Maihwari, Damuna, Ranau, Ruwa, Makau and rest of others.

You can also check-out a likewise previous post which was posted about a year ago “Real Hausa Native Names and their Meanings”


I am Abdul Mailahiya Hausa by name, Founder- Operator at Bago Technologies. My hobbies are reading, travelling and discovering.

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